A stressful and fast-paced life brings with it a number of health inconveniences, including various types of sleep disorders. Melissa is one of the most commonly used and effective herbs which has a relaxing, calming and sleep-relieving effect. It is definitely worth having it in your kitchen, and not only because of its calming and sleeping properties. In addition to its best known properties, lemon balm also has some lesser known, but no less useful qualities. Find out all the beneficial properties of lemon balm!
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Composition, occurrence and cultivation of lemon balm
Its characteristic feature is a unique, lemon-like, very pleasant fragrance. Lemon balm is cultivated on plantations as well as in homes, gardens and allotments, however it can also be found in the wild. It blooms white from June to September, but it is not the flowers, but the leaves, which contain many valuable substances that contribute to the plant’s remarkable properties, that are used as medicinal material.
The composition of lemon balm includes: essential oils (citral, linalool, citronellol, geraniol), tannins, triterpene compounds, sugar compounds, organic acids (chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid), bitter substances and mineral salts.
Melissa – calming properties
Among the most important qualities of lemon balm are its sedative and sleep-inducing properties. Importantly, this herb does not act in a radical way, as prescription pharmaceuticals do, but in a manner consistent with our body’s natural rhythms, safely, without suppressing consciousness or adversely affecting our daily functioning. Melissa gently “numbs” our nerves, relieves tension, reduces anxiety, helps to achieve a state of mental balance and to gain distance from problems and stress.
As a rule, the preferred method of using lemon balm is to drink its infusion in the evening, although nothing stands in the way of consuming it during the day – the herb will make us feel irritable and relaxed, without causing drowsiness, sluggishness, concentration and memory disorders or excessive sleepiness often caused by benzodiazepines, barbiturates and other prescription sedatives.
When is it worth reaching for balm? It will certainly bring us relief in states of tension, nervousness, nervous exhaustion and chronic stress. It will also be useful in case of anxiety, neurosis, excessive excitability, explosiveness, in order to eliminate negative emotions and during recovery from addictions. It is also useful when we complain about heart rhythm disorders and blood pressure jumps caused by emotional factors.
Melissa for sleep
Other herbs, such as valerian, hop cones (lupulin), lavender, vervain, passionflower have similar effects to lemon balm. You can combine the powers of these revered medicinal plants for a more effective crackdown on sleeping troubles.
Other valuable properties of lemon balm
Lemon balm is mostly associated with nervousness and sleeping problems, but it also has properties that can help with digestive disorders. The plant reduces smooth muscle tension in the intestines, has an antispasmodic effect and stimulates the production of digestive juices. What is important, lemon balm also shows anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Melissa is recommended in digestive disorders, intestinal and gastritis, gastric pain, gastric ulcer and biliary tract diseases. Due to its antispasmodic and relaxing properties, lemon balm infusions are also recommended for menstrual disorders.
Tea from lemon balm or maybe lemon balm in tablets?
You can buy lemon balm in the form of dried herbal tea, as well as tablets, capsules and lozenges containing lemon balm extracts. When it comes to lemon balm for brewing, it is best to buy it in pharmacies and herbal shops.
It is important that the raw material is of the highest quality and contains the right concentration of essential oils that are responsible for the sedative and sleeping properties of this herb. Nevertheless, many people believe that even an ordinary express lemon balm tea bought in the market is an ally of better mood and sleep.
A lemon balminfusion is prepared by pouring boiling water over lemon balm and steeping it covered for 10 minutes. You can also prepare a decoction from dried – 2 tablespoons of the herb put in a small pot, pour in lukewarm water (about 400 ml), put it on low heat and heat for half an hour, trying not to bring it to a boil. Fresh lemon balm can also be used to make a relaxing tea – by crushing a handful of leaves into smaller pieces and pouring boiling water over them.
If you are not an enthusiast of brewing herbs, bet on lemon balm tablets, which are often enriched with other ingredients eliminating sleep disorders. Such a complex dietary supplement can be an optimal solution, especially one that not only relaxes and facilitates falling asleep, but also shows a more profound effect – regulates the biological clock and permanently boosts the quality of sleep.
Read a review of sleep capsules with lemon balm, hops cone extract, melatonin and tryptophan: Melatolin Plus